Confused with everthing about MIDI keyboard

Discussion in 'MIDI' started by Succumeows, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. Succumeows

    Succumeows

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    Hello everyone! I just bought a Nektar Impact LX49 MIDI keyboard and I'm trying to use it with Ableton Live. I've got it set up with no problem (it can now produce sound, thank god) but I am very confused how to use both the software and keyboard. This is my first ever midi keyboard and also my first time using any kind of DAW.

    I know how to change Global MIDI channels but somehow I wasnt able to make it work. I have a grand piano midi track set to channel 1, and a drum kit midi track set to channel 2 (and both do receive channel when I press it correspondingly when I change to the according global channel) but sound doesnt come out from the drum track.
    It's also weird how they have 5 presets (not sure how they are different) but the faders seem to control the volume in preset 2, but it doesnt. Fader #9 is said to control the master volume but it doesnt work either! So confused
    Also, attached is two things the manual mentioned that I think might be knowledgeable but I'm having trouble configuring it or relating to it.

    Just wondering if there's anyone who uses the same model, or anyone else who can provide some advice? Anything is appreciated, really. I'm just very excited to get it to work so I can try out many many things!

    Thank you!!
    PS. I hope I'm in the right forum to be posting this thread, if not, please do tell.
     

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    Succumeows, Nov 3, 2016
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  2. Succumeows

    Arranger

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    Hi Succumeows and welcome to the forum.

    I'm not sure I understand all of your questions but when you say both channels are receiving OK but you don't get sound out of the drum track could it be the drum track isn't armed? That is the little square at the bottom of each track.

    When you mention faders not working keep in mind that before you use any hardware faders with Ableton first they must be mapped or else Ableton doesn't know what you want to control. Actually even before that you have to make sure that in the Ableton options the midi port of your controller apart from "Track" being ON you must also have "Remote" set to ON. When you move a fader on your controller, even if it isn't mapped, you should see midi activity in the top right of Ableton's screen. If not, something is wrong.

    Ableton is a very nice DAW and I use it a lot but you have a bit of a learning curve at the beginning and I have to admit it sucks big time when it comes to MIDI.
     
    Arranger, Nov 3, 2016
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  3. Succumeows

    Succumeows

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    Hey Arranger! Thank you for the reply!

    I tried pressing the square button (Arm Session Recording is what Ableton calls it I think) and now it works!!!
    Now the faders are actually going into Ableton, I could see activity going in the top right screen as you mentioned, just like when playing the keys so I assume the last missing component is to map them out? The Remote button is also already on. I'll try googling for some videos as that would probably be easier to navigate.

    Now just a few questions I'm still curious about if you dont mind, is there a way I can map say, the piano and drums on the keys and drum pads separately?
    Also, if Ableton Live isn't good on MIDI, would you recommend something other software? I just heard its good for live playing and my friend uses it too so haha

    Thanks again!!

    Edit: The attached image shows 'Control Assign' and 'MIDI Channel Assign' the first post wasnt clear but I would like to know what they're for?
     
    Succumeows, Nov 3, 2016
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  4. Succumeows

    Arranger

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    Hey I'm glad I could help.

    I don't know the Nektar keyboards but I'm sure you have to be able to play piano on the keys and drums on the pads. The samples in Ableton's drum rack are triggered by MIDI notes so it should just be a question of setting the pads on the keyboard to send notes on a different MIDI channel than the global channel which is the channel the keys are transmitting on.

    The DAW you use depends a lot on what you want to do. Every case is different. For creating sequences I use Reaper. It is very complete and for my purposes I still haven't found anything it can't do but of course the downside to that is that it can be difficult to learn. I use Ableton only as a host for my synths and effects. In my opinion it is not meant for live musicians but more for live DJs. In my case for performing live I never found the right software so I finally decided to write my own arranger/sequence player and I've been happy ever since.

    I didn't comment on your attached picture because it isn't related to your problem. What the manual is telling you in the first part is that you can assign any CC (control change message) to any control on your keyboard. For example typically the modulation wheel sends CC1 messages but following the described procedure you could send CC7 messages which are volume control messages from the modulation wheel.

    In the second part the manual is saying that you can set the MIDI chanel of a certain control to something different from the global channel if you like. As an example I use a similar keyboard when I perform live and I have it set up in the following way: Global channel is CH4 because that's what I want the keys to play but I want to use the eight faders to control the volume of eight tracks in Ableton so they are all set up to send CC7 but each fader is set to send on a different MIDI channel.
     
    Arranger, Nov 3, 2016
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  5. Succumeows

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    In Ableton Live (as well as in many other DAWs) the default configuration for a MIDI track is for the MIDI From to be set to All Ins and All Channels, meaning the track is listening to all MIDI input sources, on all MIDI channels, at the same time. Although this can be useful in some situations, much of the time you'll want to set each MIDI track to listen to a single MIDI channel from a single MIDI input source.

    Set one MIDI track to listen to the Nektar on channel 1, and set another MIDI track to listen to the Nektar on channel 2.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Nov 4, 2016
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  6. Succumeows

    Succumeows

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    After a few hours of just playing around I think I'm starting to get the hang of how things work. Still so many things to learn!! Thanks again Arranger for the answers and tips! I very much appreciate it! I'll give myself more time to learn and see how it all goes!!
     
    Succumeows, Nov 4, 2016
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  7. Succumeows

    Succumeows

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    Hey SeaGtGruff, thank you for the reply!

    I followed your instructions and now I'm able to switch between sounds by doing that and changing my midi keyboard to the corresponding Global Channel (1 and then 2, like the input numbers). Is there a way I can map channel 1 to my keys and channel 2 to my pads? Like having both midi tracks at once?
     
    Succumeows, Nov 4, 2016
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  8. Succumeows

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    You should be able to do that in Live as I described-- set one MIDI track to listen to channel 1 of the Nektar, and set another MIDI track to listen to channel 2 of the Nektar.

    As for what you can do-- and how you would need to do it-- on the Nektar itself, I'll have to download its manual later and check to see.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Nov 4, 2016
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  9. Succumeows

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    The LX49 apparently doesn't let you do a layer or a split, so all of the keys are going to send on the same MIDI channel. But if I'm interpreting pages 21 and 22 of the manual correctly, you should be able to set the channels that you want the other controls to send on. So you should be able to send the pads on channel 2 and the keys on channel 1-- which is what I thought you said you were doing. Can you explain what you're trying to do that you're having trouble with?
     
    SeaGtGruff, Nov 5, 2016
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  10. Succumeows

    Succumeows

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    I apologize for the late reply, been a little busy the past few days. I finally got it to work thanks to your advice! Been trying out heaps of stuff on Live and its so much fun! I haven't even learnt a slight bit of the entire software yet yet there's plenty to mess about! Thank you SeaGtGruff for the help! I hope you have a nice day!
     
    Succumeows, Nov 8, 2016
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  11. Succumeows

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    I'm glad you were able to get it working as desired, and happy if anything I said was helpful in that respect. :)
     
    SeaGtGruff, Nov 8, 2016
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